Friday, August 28, 2015

Reflections

It was a long 6 weeks. The first earthquake in Nepal gave me a feeling in my stomach I will never forget. I don't remember ever feeling quit so helpless. It was probably nothing compared to the feeling of the climbers stuck in Khumbu unable to assist the tragedy on Mt. Everest but regardless I own the feelings.

Helplessness without the desire and act would be a tragedy. I knew that I had no choice but to end up on the ground in Nepal as soon as possible. My wife and I spent days sending inquiries to support groups such as the red cross, All Hands, the UNITED Nations, and the Ambassadors to Nepal both in the US and Nepal. I even contacted the US military to try and get on a flight with them(no joke). It seemed that no US support groups were heading to Nepal for immediate relief.

 My adrenaline never stopped and I could hardly sleep. I knew that I had to be there. There was a natural flow and fight against the door closing options in front of me. It was much like the 2014 Hilly Billy Roubaix. Around every turn there was an obstacle that gave an option to quit. I never did and never would have. I wasn't going to stop this fight either.

Days turned to a week and I felt the time for my useful skills was fading so my wife and I decided that it was up  us to make it happen. I approach my current managers the following day with the news that I planned to leave for Nepal so we needed to "work it out." I sent this message to the head of nursing also. I also sent a message to our friends at global links. This is an organization that takes discarded medical supplies and repackages the supplies for the needy. They committed to donate all the supplies I could physically carry! It seemed like things were falling into place so I purchased my own ticket to Nepal and notified my job that I was going to be gone. They weren't happy but they agreed  personal leave.  Ill leave it at that.

The next week was a blur while working normal hours and gathering supplies and packing personal things. I contacted my friends in Nepal and informed I will be arriving. I was not prepared for what was to come.

Arrival in Kathmandu







Meeting a few itrekNepal team and New Hope Society members







Working with great people at the Bhaktapur Community Health Clinic









Supplies and Tents for Urban Health Medical Clinic and Community Health










After 2.5 weeks working at the clinic and then spending extra time helping to break down houses my friend and coordinator of New Hope Society presented me with an option I could not refuse. They needed someone to go into the high mountains to deliver medical supplies, tents and assess the damages to plan future relief. How could I say no to some hard days in the Khumbu mountains. I left the next morning without questioning.















Tea house destruction












Thame village







Thame medical tents




I've tried to explain how special of a country Nepal is but it never seems to sound as wonderful as I feel it is. I'll leave it at this - the countryside is beautiful, the culture is spiritual and the people are warm and welcoming. It's not the people but the souls of the people of Nepal that will change you forever. It is like nowhere else on earth. I'm not even sure it is on earth...